Another national football writer has placed the Jacksonville Jaguars squarely at the bottom of the NFL rankings for 2020.
You guessed it, King just like everybody else across the NFL landscape, has the Jaguars last in the NFL in his most recent power poll. All that should do is cause a stir and make that chip on everybody’s shoulder that Gardner Minshew has talked about just a little bit bigger.
These rankings so early in the NFL season don’t do anything other than stirring the pot right now. But it does present the continuation of a common theme. Nobody is giving the Black and Teal a chance at a winning record, a potential playoff berth, or a run to the Super Bowl in Tampa.
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Oh, how it would make a great story if once again this team that was given little hope proved to be the biggest story in the NFL this year.
While I continue to hate seeing stories like this, King does point out the obvious. At some point, if the Jaguars should continue to lose will need to make changes, presumably at the head coach level. NFL teams can only go so long, without improvement.
“I’m sure if Vegas has such a toteboard, it’d list Doug Marrone with the best odds of any NFL coach to be fired this season. It’s hard to blame him for the mass exodus of good players (Ramsey, Campbell, Bouye, Dareus, Foles) from the Jags, he writes. “Still, Jacksonville is 11-22 since the day of the blown 10-point fourth-quarter lead in the 2017 AFC Championship Game at Foxboro, and at some point soon, the coach has to pull his team out of that to keep being the coach.”
There is hope, believe it or not, as the culture has changed – again. And in this instance, yes we continue to write the same thing as national analysts continue to beat this team down. The offense does get a shot of adrenaline from the quarterback position but also because of the team’s new offensive system that is going to be used by coordinator Jay Gruden.
What King does do is point out that this is a team with plenty of potential stars, with Minshew leading the way. There figure to be just as many eyes on what happens with the coaching staff as there is on player development. Having one quarterback in camp taking the majority of the snaps under center should help stabilize a potentially potent offense.
“Marrone will need a good season from starter Gardner Minshew and a new coordinator (Jay Gruden) and QB coach (Ben McAdoo) for this team to have any chance to survive, King adds. “There’s a good young nucleus on defense—pass-rushers Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson, linebacker Myles Jack and cornerback C.J. Henderson, though it’s hard to predict that two rookies will hit the ground running the way Allen did as a rookie last year.”
While the rookies may not be as productive starting out, they are going to be called upon early and often this season. A change in defense of philosophy by Todd Wash means players will be counted on to use their speed and strength to not only stop the run but to pressure the quarterback.
Even with the changes on both sides of the football, there is a glaring understanding that if this team cannot win changes will be made. King talks about that further, but lends the notion that should the Jacksonville Jaguars fall into the NFL abyss, those changes will begin at the top.
“I wonder which lucky GM and coach will get handed Trevor Lawrence if the Jags are truly awful this year,” King adds.